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Author Topic: Any reasons not use buy MK / Deka AGM batteries? Lifeline worth the cost?  (Read 2491 times)
belfert
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« on: November 12, 2013, 02:51:02 PM »

Has anybody had any issues with the MK / Deka AGM batteries?  Any reasons not to buy them?  I did find a post to an RV forum from an RV dealer who said he quit selling the MK / Deka batteries due to many issues with them.

I am seriously considering two of the MK / Deka 4D AGM batteries to replace my dying battery bank.  Are the Lifeline / Concorde 4Ds worth an extra $50 per battery over the MK / Deka batteries?  I am not considering the Chinese batteries because of some of the issues I have read about them.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 03:35:03 PM »

The Concorde Sun Xtenders are the same battery as the Lifeline for 100 dollars less only difference is the warranty you pay big $ for it on the LifeLines
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wg4t50
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 03:48:33 PM »

First, I do not use the AGM Batteries, instead, use 4 of the 8G8D Gell batteries, the first set went more than 7.5 yrs, so I replaced them, the surprise was the new set had the same life as the old set.  So I wasted money, should have waited a few more years.
You can find experts bad mouthing everything ever made including batteries, me, have always had great luck with East Penn who make M&K and Deka, but I only buy fresh batteries, learn to read the date code, avoid over 60 days old...
Dave M
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 03:51:03 PM by wg4t50 » Logged

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TomC
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 04:06:25 PM »

Big difference is a Chinese battery or American made Lifeline (made right here in Irwindale, Ca). I like to support our country, so I'll pay more. Plus, I've had good luck with Lifeline-the first set of 2-8D's lasted 7yrs (they have a prorated 5yr warranty standard). If you have the height (16") go with the 6V L16's. They weigh about 115lbs compared to the 8D's 165lbs and they are 400amp/hrs. So 4 will be 800amp/hrs at 12vdc. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 04:20:17 PM »

Big difference is a Chinese battery or American made Lifeline (made right here in Irwindale, Ca). I like to support our country, so I'll pay more.

Tom, you have to realize that for all the rest of us, we are buying internationally either way. Doesn't matter whether it is the People's Republic of California or the People's Republic of China.

LOL, sorry guys. I just had to say it Grin Grin Grin.

We have the AGM Lifeline batteries now, for our house bank. Regular wet on the chassis. Will we change? Kinda doubt it. Not sure I would go with MK for a $50 dollar difference.

YMMV

John
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luvrbus
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 04:54:18 PM »

Mk/Deka are not Chinese made batteries they are made right here in the US of A, their free replacement warranty period is better than the Lifelines by a year FWIW East Penn is the largest battery manufacturing plant in the world  covers 500 acres  
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 05:01:53 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 04:58:52 PM »

Interestingly enough, I'm finding online where the Lifeline batteries are sometimes less expensive than the Concorde Batteries on the same website.  The 4D batteries I found online are Concorde.  There is a large battery distributor locally that carries Lifeline Batteries and I will see if they are price competitive with ordering online.  (Shipping batteries is not cheap.)

Aren't MK / Deka AGM batteries made in the USA just like Lifeline and Concorde?

I don't use my bus enough to justify a bank of four L16 batteries as I need 24 volt.  I have six AGM batteries now that are something like 138 AH each.  My plan is to downsize to just two 4D batteries.  The 4D size seems like the best bang for the buck for me.  8D batteries are the same price per amp hour as a 4D, or even more.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 05:10:47 PM »

Lifeline, Sun Xtender,and Concorde are all the same battery made by the Concorde Battery Manufacturing Co.FWIW then they manufacture the batteries for other things like scooters and wheelchairs under the name of Chairman
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 05:14:13 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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wg4t50
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 05:24:18 PM »

This is going nuts, East Penn is located in Lyon Station, Pa. Not China, second, Johnson Controls is the LARGEST USA battery manufacturer, all others are 2nd, 3rd, etc,, etc.
As usual , just do what makes you happy, I don't care what anyone else uses for batteries or engines. If they smile, that is good enuff.
We buy\sell about 250 a year, a mix of Group 8D, 4D, 31, 27, 26, 24, 2, & 1 and a few U1.
Dave M
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 05:29:15 PM by wg4t50 » Logged

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luvrbus
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 06:00:54 PM »

Dave I did not say East Penn was the largest battery manufacture in the world I said the LARGEST plant Johnson Controls has plants scattered thru out the US even their largest in Mexico is no where close to the size of the plant in Lyon Station I have seen both fwiw
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wg4t50
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 06:11:39 PM »

Gotcha, I have always been amazed that Johnson Controls has become such a battery outfit, and do agree East Penn is one large, nearly 500 acre plant, that is large indeed.
Mostly we use the Johnson control batteries, but for some applications we do go with East Penn, and just for giggles, the past 4 8G8D set I bought from East Penn were labeled Deka Dominator Gell, and were $265.00 each, so you see we have a good source for the past 25+ years. My personnel battery useage are usually free for the John Deere, Lawn Mwer, Honda CRV, FL60 w/5.9, Ford F150, F350 6.7 PS, Cummins Generator,  but for the motor home they just give me a great price that I appreciate.
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 06:15:41 PM »

      Brian - Do you use Straight-Weight SAE 40 oil in your Dina?Huh  Why don't you tell us about it?  Wink
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2013, 06:21:31 PM »

There is nothing wrong with the Deka batteries Belfert we sell both the Deka and Lifeline and it is a toss up on which is the best both are good batteries
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jmblake
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2013, 06:33:51 PM »

Brian,
I just put 4 - 6volt Deka agm's in my bus house system back in the spring. so far no complaints, I bought them from my local autoparts and had right around $800.00 in them including tax. I quess time will tell how they hold up. Jason
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 07:18:51 PM »

     Brian - Do you use Straight-Weight SAE 40 oil in your Dina?Huh  Why don't you tell us about it?  Wink

I've been using 15W-40 in my Series 60!  I better run out and get some 40 weight in the morning.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 07:20:55 PM by belfert » Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
belfert
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2013, 07:28:56 PM »

I'm aware that Concorde makes a number of brands including Lifeline.  I've read over the years that Sun Xtender batteries are generally cheaper than Lifeline, but I've seen cases where the same vendor sells the Lifeline 4D for up to $100 less than the Sun Xtender 4D equiv.  Lifeline being cheaper than Sun Xtender is more the exception than the rule.

I would buy four of the 6 volt Deka AGM batteries if I could find them for $200 each.  Sam's Club in some regions sells an AGM golf cart battery, but they are not sold in my region.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 08:22:02 PM »

  I've been using 15W-40 in my Series 60!  I better run out and get some 40 weight in the morning.  Roll Eyes 

     But only after we have a *complete* discussion about it!  Cheesy
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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jerry
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2013, 04:09:40 AM »

Can somebody actually put a dollar figure on what these batteries are costing (without shipping).  For some people cost is more important due to the amount of use they get.
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belfert
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 06:15:31 AM »

The Concorde Sun Xtender 4D AGM batteries I have been looking at go for $450 each over at Apexbattery.com.  Shipping is $150 for two of them.  Universal Power Group / UPG (Chinese) 4D AGM batteries I see for $340 or less online.

I just talked to the local Lifeline Distributor.  He doesn't even stock the Lifeline batteries due to low demand and his prices are high.  They do have a Deka 4D AGM for $380 plus tax or a Deka 8D AGM for $460.  (plus $45 core charge)
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2013, 06:52:04 AM »

Shipping from Concorde is included in your wholesale price to your place of business drop shipping is no longer allowed on their dime, you can get 3 or 4 different price sheets from Concorde a week up and down when the price drops Concorde expects you to sell at the current price not what you paid which could have been a much higher price and they pay the difference 

In the real world and not on the net a Concorde dealer cannot sell but 1 model of their battery if you sell LifeLine they will not ship you the blacktop Sun Xtender 

They do not allow over stocking of their batteries that is watched close now they as do not want a dealer selling a customer a 2 year old battery 

 Me I would find a dealer and forget the internet, dealers for Concorde have a good mark up margin to negotiate with  ::)Concorde doesn't like it but it happens
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belfert
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2013, 07:38:20 AM »

I talked to one of the local Lifeline dealers and he doesn't even stock Lifeline batteries due to lack of demand.  He could get me a pair of Lifeline 4D batteries, but he said they would be over $700 each.  He could do Deka for over $300 less per battery.  I talked to a second dealer and he doesn't stock Lifeline either, but can order them too.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2013, 08:05:31 AM »

Regardless you pay dearly for the LifeLine warranty but 700 bucks is a huge markup on a LifeLine 4-D battery according to my price list for Nov

good luck
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2013, 11:15:32 AM »

I have 8 Deka AGM  8D's   Great batteries.   You can order them direct from there distributor.   They will even give you$75.00 for each core!
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2013, 12:27:56 PM »

   I have 8 Deka AGM  8D's   Great batteries.   You can order them direct from there distributor.   They will even give you$75.00 for each core! 

     Does the core have to be AGM?  Will they give you core on a wet-cell when you're buying an AGM?   Thanks,  BH
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2013, 11:35:47 PM »

Looks like if you live on the west coast, you use Lifeline. If you're on the east coast, MK. I mistakenly took MK for the Chinese Fullriver batteries. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2013, 12:30:18 AM »

Yes, they will give you the "core" monies on a standard lead acid battery.   I turned in 16 batteries..   It was a great deal..    Not all were 8D's..  Pricing for smaller batteries was less but it was nice to get rid of them, and monies against my invoice.
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2013, 04:05:47 AM »

Yes, they will give you the "core" monies on a standard lead acid battery.   I turned in 16 batteries..   It was a great deal..    Not all were 8D's..  Pricing for smaller batteries was less but it was nice to get rid of them, and monies against my invoice.

     Thanks for that info.   BH
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
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« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2013, 05:24:36 AM »

Like Zero, there are eight 8D Deka AGMs in the house battery bank of our Eagle.  Here's my thought process used to replace them about six months ago.

A)  previous set was Deka brand.  lasted over seven years.
B)  available in EXACT configuration as previous set.
C)  pickup within 50 miles.  no additional freight.
D)  all batteries with same mfg date.  within past 75 days.
E)  reputable, bricks & mortar dealer to handle warranty.
F)  price competitive.

Other reputable brands would have been acceptable, i,e, Lifeline, Trojan, etc.  We were just fortunate that our previous brand met all the criteria.

A word of caution: follow EXPERT advice in "setting in" your new battery bank.  (initial charge, discharge, number of times, rate, etc.).

Don't forget to converse with your inverter of any significant changes.
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gary t'berry
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« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2013, 05:52:22 AM »

We have good luck from Deka I personally like the 2 year free replacement warranty on most of their batteries but you won't get the 5 year pro/rated as offered on the LifeLines if you are hung up on the warranty JMO

 I am replacing my Deka starting batteries to day 5 or 6 years is a long time for battery life here in desert I can't complain about the Deka's, I use the Cat batteries made by Deka   
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 05:55:36 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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jerry
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« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2013, 06:10:54 AM »

How are you getting more than 4 years from your starting batteries?
Mine usually only last a couple of years.
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belfert
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« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2013, 03:20:00 PM »

I contacted every battery retailer/distributor I could find locally (All three of them except Batteries Plus and auto parts places) to get prices on 4D AGM batteries.  By far the best price was for a Deka 4D AGM battery.  Nobody stocks Lifeline batteries and they priced them so high I wouldn't buy from them anyhow.  I think they just want to sell what they stock.

The only way I could afford Concorde Batteries would be to get them online.  Even then they would still cost $150 more for a pair.  I would rather upgrade to 8D Dekas instead I think.

The best price I found for selling my old batteries to a scrap yard is 28 cents a pound.  I didn't think to ask the battery distributor if they buy scrap batteries.  I have 400 more pounds of batteries than my new batteries will weigh. 
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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jerry
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« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2013, 03:23:20 PM »

I currently use 8d batteries for starting and house and have heard about people using the 4d batteries.  What's the difference between 8d and 4d?
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B_K
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« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2013, 03:51:31 PM »

about 1/2 Smiley


No seriously a 4D is abour 2/3rds the size of an 8D
Grin  BK  Grin
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luvrbus
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« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2013, 03:57:01 PM »

In the LifeLine the the 8d has 255 amp hrs weighs 165 cost over a 100 bucks more than the 4D it always been better bang for the buck with the 4D with 212 amp hrs 135 lbs and the 100 dollars + cost difference IMO
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« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2013, 05:53:53 PM »

 2 8d starting batteries in the stock location when i bought the bus. They died after i had it for a year and a half....they were 7 and 8 years old. Bought 2 group 31s and put them in the same place, that was June of 05. Still going just fine, in fact this morning i wondered if they would fire up the bus as it was about 28-30 degrees out and we were in a rest stop and i did not have the block heater hooked up. No problem.   Grin
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